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PM Modi to inaugurate ISRF, new dry dock of Cochin Shipyard Ltd at Kochi: Know how the major infra boost will highlight CSL on world map

With six dedicated workstations, the new ISR facility enables concurrent and independent repair operations for six vessels, allowing for the efficient handling of repairs for approximately 84 ships annually. It is built on 42 acres of land leased from Cochin Port Authority.

On Wednesday (17th January) Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inaugurating the International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) of the Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) at Kochi in Kerala. The 310-meter-long drydock built along with India’s first fully developed ship repair ecosystem ISRF is set to become a game-changer for India’s marine sector.

Along with this, PM Narendra Modi is also inaugurating various infrastructure projects at Kochi worth Rs 4000 Crores. Union Minister of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal took stock of the preparations before the Prime Minister arrived in Kochi and reviewed these projects.

The International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF)

CSL can currently build ships up to 110,000 deadweight tonnes (DWT) and repair ships up to 125,000 DWT. The International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) situated at Cochin Port Trust in Kochi is set to enhance India’s ship repair capacity by approximately 25%. Developed for Rs 970 crore, this state-of-the-art facility features a 6,000-tonne capacity ship lift and transfer system capable of accommodating vessels up to 130 meters in length and 26 meters in width.

With six dedicated workstations, the facility enables concurrent and independent repair operations for six vessels, allowing for the efficient handling of repairs for approximately 84 ships annually. It is built on 42 acres of land leased from Cochin Port Authority.

The ISRF is poised to serve over 2,000 Indian-owned vessels navigating Indian waters, creating a consistent demand for local ship repair activities. Moreover, the facility is strategically positioned to meet the repair and maintenance needs of the numerous vessels frequenting Indian ports. Its proximity to the international sea route connecting Southeast Asia to the Middle East adds to its allure, positioning Kochi as a global hub for ship repairs.

Additionally, the ISRF is set to offer swift turnaround times for naval warships, coast guard ships, and offshore vessels, catering to both emergency docking requirements and scheduled refits. Aligned with the strategic initiative to establish ship repair clusters, the “Kochi cluster” is anticipated to catalyse substantial growth in ship repair services and ancillary offerings, akin to established clusters in Dubai and Singapore.

The Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) is known for building INS Vikrant

Cochin Shipyard Ltd, renowned for constructing India’s largest double-hull Aframax tankers and various other vessels for both Indian and international clients, has achieved notable milestones. Notably, the shipyard proudly delivered the Indian Navy’s inaugural indigenous aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, commissioned in September 2022 with an impressive 76% indigenous content.

In the coming weeks, the cityscape of Kochi is set to transform as Cochin Shipyard Ltd prepares to elevate and install its new 600-tonne Goliath gantry crane above the dock. This addition will significantly enhance CSL’s capabilities, enabling the handling of blocks weighing up to 600 tonnes, surpassing the size of the existing two orange gantry cranes.

The Dry Dock at Kochi

The construction of the dry dock, estimated at Rs 1,799 crore, represents a significant investment in a high-grade strategic asset. This facility boasts the capacity to manage crucial naval assets and commercial vessels during emergencies. With a design life extending to 100 years, the dry dock positions India to build substantial aircraft carriers weighing up to 70,000 tonnes displacement.

The newly established dry dock is set to be a pivotal factor in advancing skill development for the construction and repair of highly intricate and large vessels, along with complex marine structures. It is anticipated to directly generate employment opportunities for approximately 2,000 individuals, with a ripple effect amplifying this impact by 5-6 times. Additionally, the facility will catalyse the growth of ancillary and supporting industries, as well as foster the development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), ultimately contributing to the augmentation of the local economy.

The new dry dock, constructed by Larsen and Toubro LTD, will be India’s largest. With the new dry dock, CSL can now build large LNG carriers, Suezmax vessels, oil rigs, and more. The new dry dock will start its first building assignment in May this year, building a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) for the State-owned Dredging Corporation of India Ltd, as per a report in Economic Times.

Union Minister visited Kochi a day before inauguration

The Union Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal reviewed the preparation of the key strategic projects at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Kochi yesterday. Addressing a press conference, he said, “Kochi is going to become one of the most important hubs of ship repair and shipbuilding. This modern facility will definitely make India proud in the global maritime sector. This is the biggest operational ship repair ecosystem infrastructure in the entire South Asia, which has been built for the Viksit Bharat by 2047.”

He added, “We are providing requisite impetus to the shipping sector, including an ambitious Green Tug Transition Programme (GTTP), which is likely to steamroll India’s shipping sector prospects to become a global leader in the production of green ships. We are also working on building a ship repair cluster in Kochi to provide a robust ecosystem for India’s shipping industry.”

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